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Human Trafficking – Final Chapter?

By Demetrius Moffett

I trust by now most of us have at least took a peek into the horror that is human trafficking. This is real and closer to us than what we may think. Reports of domestic human trafficking continued to increase in 2016, jumping 35 percent over 2015, according to a report released by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center and the Polaris Project. Josh Keefe of the International Business Times reports that incidents of human trafficking have climbed over the last decade, but it’s unclear whether that increase is a reflection of a growing prevalence of the crime or a growing awareness of it. Similarly, it’s unclear whether the rise of an online sex market over the last twenty years has increased the sex trade, or just made it more visible. Please keep in mind human trafficking is not new. Genesis 37:26-28 speaks to Joseph being sold by his brothers. Still today there are family members, fathers and mothers who are selling or hiring out their children. Human traffickers look to lure and ensnare people into forced labor and sex trafficking by manipulating and exploiting their vulnerabilities. Human traffickers prey on people who are hoping for a better life, lack employment opportunities, have an unstable home life, or have a history of sexual or physical abuse. Traffickers promise a high-paying job, a loving relationship, or new and exciting opportunities and then use physical and psychological violence to control them. Traffickers can be lone individuals or part of extensive criminal networks, with the common thread of exploiting people for profit. Based on human trafficking cases that have been identified by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, examples of traffickers may include but not limited to brothel and fake massage business owners and managers, employers of domestic servants, intimate partners/family members as well as small business owners and managers. Ultimately, traffickers exist because human trafficking remains highly lucrative. It reportedly generates a profit of $32 billion every year. Of that number, $15.5 billion is made in industrialized countries. Human trafficking operations often intersect or exist alongside legitimate businesses and require a number of other actors and specific conditions in order to operate without detection. Please let’s use our eyes and ears to help protect those we love. I’ll watch out for yours, you watch for mine and together we’ll watch out for ours.